The purpose of this essay is to analyze fastidiously and personalize Warner’s Beyond Gay Marriage article. Three convergent points of Warner’s argument will be broken down, and examined. First, the concept that marriage consecrates some pairs at the cost of others. Second the question of why marriage has become such a prevalent organization in gay politics. Finally, the definition of marriage in public, private, and state terms.
Marriage is far beyond what it has been previously defined in history. Present day American society has made marriage a significant right of passage, a way to show maturity, or the complete path to becoming a functioning member of society. The act of becoming married truly states to society “I am ready to comply with social norms, and therefore become accepted.” Existing and participating in this structure unconsciously states that this relationship is more worthy than others.
The benefits of marriage comply with this by rewarding the couple in unison, and rewarding when they divorce. As Warner eloquently describes “the ennobling and demeaning go together” (Warner 82). The legalization of gay marriage would, in turn, be only furthering the deep etching of oppression that marriage brings on people who choose other lifestyle routes. “But what about the gay people who want marriage? Would they not in turn derive their sense of pride from the invidious and shaming distinction between the married and the unmarried? ”(Warner 82).
For someone like me who has been truly against the, in my opinion, absurd reasoning for marriage, it is hard for me to completely understand why anyone would want to battle for such a domineering institution. The way that marriage is, in society, just another oppressor, I cannot understand the “fight for equality” aspect of it. Marriage is in no way shape or form an equal and accepting structure. It contradicts the egalitarian basis of the movement. It excludes the possibility for any other intimate relationships. It rewards benefits where benefits should not be rewarded, and it demeans other relations as inadequate. Marriage, in short, is the most unequal construction existing in society. I do not necessarily want to say that gay marriage should not be legalized, but I believe instead of looking at it in terms of accepting another group into a structure, that we need to evaluate, instead, the whole structure and its impacts on society.
That sense of a utopian, out of the box analysis, is far from the minds of many gay marriage activists. Not until the early 90’s, has the fights for gay marriage become such a prevalent topic in politics, and what a force has it become. The media, politics, and gay activists have turned the situation into the defining political ties, similar to abortion and gun law debates. As if to say that stating for or against gay marriage can define one’s political stance. The gay marriage issue has left the terms of debate behind, in the fact that...